Understanding Architecture

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Understanding Architecture

Understanding Architecture


Architecture is the unavoidable art. Every moment, awake or asleep, we are in buildings, around buildings, in spaces defined by buildings, or in landscapes shaped by human artifice. It is possible to take deliberate steps to avoid looking at painting, sculpture, drawings, or any of the other visual arts, but architecture constantly touches us, shapes our behavior, and conditions our psychological mood. The blind and deaf may not see paintings or hear music, but like all other humans they must deal with architecture. More than being merely shelter or a protective umbrella, architecture is also the physical record of human activity and aspiration. It is the culture legacy left us. 

Modernism: Le Corbusier

Modern architecture is at least as old as the motor car; indeed its sources can be traced to the first industrial revolution and as far back as the mid-eighteenth century. It was only in the decade following the Second World War... that the movement was firmly established. The Festival of Britain in 1951 was the occasion that introduced its fully developed style to these islands. In the quarter of a century since then, it can be argued, architecture has achieved a degree of "stability and orthodoxy" unknown in the preceding two hundred years. The period between 1750 and 1950 saw successive and conflicting waves of revivalism, but it was also marked by the growth of radical approaches to design, often based on industrial technology, which were eventually combined in the Functionalism of the International Style of the 1930's(Corbusier 1985). Modern architecture is not a specific style, but instead is a term that currently refers to architecture from around 1925 to the present. However, many years from now, the idea of "modern architecture" will change, and this period will (and is starting to) be referred to simply as "20th century architecture" or "1900s architecture" or even as "post-Euro-War (1900s) architecture". "Post-War architecture" (which refers to after the Pan-Global War is a major subgroup of modern architecture, though disregarding the Art Deco movement. Also, the though the term officially encompasses all building styles of recent times, it is mostly concerned with styles that began in the 20th century and became at least somewhat international(Pagalos 2008).

Corbusier shared Perret's confidence and enthusiasm for the modern age. He envisaged a new and unique role for the artist/architect and the city planner that closely adhered to the capitalist spirit. Put simply, Corbusier's initial encounter with the large complex city of Paris convinced him of the need for modern housing and a modern city. Partly, this was a response to what he called the chaos around him the enormous amount of traffic and the squalor of the industrial workers' housing. He compared this disorder to the discipline and authority of the factory and found the city lacking. Corbusier believed that the only way to impede a worker revolution was to formulate a machine for living, a dwelling that would bring the worker's home life in line with the discipline of the factory.

To this end, he created the Domino housing concept, which was ...
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